If you’ve had any goals in your life – at any point – you’ve heard the word “perseverance”. It’s an overused, overplayed, and oversimplified word that we often associate with those who achieve a certain degree of success. Any idea why? I assume it’s because it often delivers results.
Take one of my favorite NBA players as an example: Jeremy Lin.
For those of you who have lived under a rock the past few years, Jeremy Lin has taken the NBA pop culture by storm, especially during the season of “Linsanity” with the New York Knicks. He’s currently with the Los Angeles Lakers, playing alongside Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, two of the greatest players the game has ever known. Furthermore, he’s recently signed a new endorsement with Adidas, he’s living close to his California-based family, and he’s developed a massive cult fan base across the world that has made him an icon among NBA players.
But it wasn’t always this way. When Lin began his time playing in New York, he slept on both his brother’s couch and a teammates (Landry Fields) couch while his contract was sorted out. He had already bounced around from the NBA to the D-League to China before he eventually landed in New York. Lin’s perseverance and patience in his journey ultimately lead to a moment in time on the court with the New York Knicks where his life trajectory changed dramatically. Had he given up like so many others before him, we would never have known what he could contribute to the game of basketball on the game’s biggest stage.
In my own journey of chasing after a dream I’ve been tempted to throw in the towel, grab some chocolate, find a “satisfactory job”, and retire my ambitions. You may be feeling the same way in regards to a relationship, a dream, or a specific achievement that is wearing you out and delivering little-to-no results.
However, certainty isn’t a trademark that I find among many individuals society would call “successful”. Rather, perseverance is one of the most defining characteristics in each story of an achieved vision, whether that is in Jeremy Lin’s life or a leader in another field.
If you’re considering giving up, here are a few questions to think about (and discuss below):
- Are you willing to persevere without having any certainty that your dream will become a reality?
- Is your dream selfish, or are you hoping to contribute to others in a positive way?
- Are there aspects of your life that are hindering you from giving your best to the vision?
- What can you do with your limited time to get closer to your dreams each day?